California Could Abolish Death Penalty
The Secretary of State for California announced that a measure to abolish the death penalty in California, had qualified for the ballot in November. Voters in the state will now have the opportunity to decide whether life in prison with no chance for parole will take the place of capital punishment.
If the measure were to pass, the Death Row inmates in California, who total 725, would have their sentences changed to life in prison with no parole. It would then make the harshest penalty the state could seek as life without parole.
Supporters of the measure insist that abolishing capital punishment will save millions of dollars for the state through layoffs of defense attorneys and prosecutors who handle capital punishment cases and for not having to maintain the country’s largest death row located at San Quentin.
The money that is saved, argued supporters, could be used to help solve unsolved crimes. If passed, the measure would save over $100 million in three years that would be used to investigate all the unsolved rapes and murders.
With this measure qualifying for the ballot in November, Californians will now have five measures to vote on. On Monday, the Secretary of State announced that supporters of the measure had accumulated the 500,000 signatures needed to have the measure placed on the ballot.
California is currently one of just 34 states that have the death penalty. However, the state has not used the death penalty since 2006. That year, a federal judge ordered the state to halt executions until San Quentin had a new death chamber.